In this fast-paced information-flowing world, you have just a smidgen of time to reign in a person’s attention, and then just a few seconds, at best, to hold it. No matter what the medium – television, radio, Internet – you need to be quick in convincing people that you are worth their time.
This is especially true for written marketing materials. Why? We are on information overload! We get hundreds of voicemails, emails, text messages (and other notifications) and pieces of mail a week; sifting through it all to figure out what’s important and what goes into the “circular file” can be draining. So if your magazine, newsletter, flyer, blog or direct mail piece doesn’t look interesting or appears too time consuming to read, most people simply won’t.
You need to be quick about grabbing someone’s attention, and photos do the trick. They are the “eye candy” of your message.
Take the cosmetic industry, for instance. Every facet, from plastic surgery to weight-loss programs, uses photos to persuade and to illustrate a successful story. Photos help prospects visualize what services are being described, and when used strategically, can be a powerful tool to differentiate your company from the competition.
3 Reasons Why Photos Build Your Differentiation Point
Photos display your distinctive talents. You can tell a prospect that you are the best darn builder in the region, but don’t you think your competition is using the same “buzz” words as you: quality builder, customer-focused, award-winning and energy-efficient (just to name a few)?
You have to give your consumer a reason to pick you over the competition.
One way to do this is to use photos to showcase your homes; they can be stills made into a “slideshow” or you can produce a video virtual tour. However you decide to display your home photos is up to you and your marketing team, but
make sure you start using them.
Photos allow potential clients to “see” results. Nothing is more powerful than when a potential client understands that you have the right solution for them. For example, when my husband and I purchased our house, our backyard was a small jungle. The builder cleared just enough of our lot to build the house and give us a narrow swath of a backyard. And as hard as we tried to “tame” our backyard, as first-time homeowners with overly busy schedules, we just couldn’t do it. Time to hire a professional.
We talked to a few landscapers, but they didn’t seem to have the right solutions for us. We didn’t need a luxurious outdoor retreat; we simply needed our backyard tamed. The landscaper we hired showed us pictures of other yards he’d done. Yes, some of them were gorgeous outdoor rooms – but the ones he made it a point to show us were smaller (read: budget-friendly) projects that took overgrown yards infested in poison ivy and weeds and turned them into nice, grassy areas.
Once he had our attention – by using photos – he further convinced us that, with my husband’s busy military schedule and my propensity for catching poison ivy, we should design simple flower beds with plants that are practically maintenance-free.
These are the solutions he’d given other homeowners – and the photos proved the results.
Photos tell the story of how you’ve overcome past challenges. No matter what your industry or profession, you’ve experienced challenges. One useful tool to borrow from the remodeling industry is using “before” and “after” photos – which are powerful proof of what can be accomplished by your team.
When you are setting up before and after photos, think back to the cosmetic industry – especially those “makeover” stories. It’s okay to have your before photos look gloomy, dingy, dark, cluttered, overgrown and as unappealing as possible. (There is a reason why cosmetic surgeons take before photos of people with messed up hair and without makeup.) After photos should be the exact opposite: bright, cheerful, full of light and life, and perfectly arranged.
Before and after transformations are powerful because they show how you were able to take a customer’s unhappy situation and turn it into a positive one. If you make it a point to always take photos before demolition begins and after the job is complete, over the course of time, you’ll develop a portfolio so that your customers can not only hear about what you’ve done professionally, they can see it for themselves.
Remember, not only are the photos you select the “eye-candy” of your business, they are also a tool to give your business an edge over your competition.
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Tess Wittler Writing Services • Dedicated to giving your visions a voice.